How Adversity Can Bring You The Best Opportunities- My Business Story

Have you ever had one of those mornings when you wake up, scroll your Facebook, and a memory from your past takes over your mind?  That’s how this entire story started. 

On Valentine’s weekend Facebook sent me a notification of an important memory. It was this post I’m sharing below:


Oh dear Facebook!  You just activated a mandatory life review and analysis of the last 4 years of my life; since I hosted my very first social media coaching mastermind call on February 16, 2016. 

Starting A Business Under Devastating Circumstances 

In order to provide perspective of the magnitude of this devastation, I need to take you back to 2008. Does the mortgage crisis ring a bell? 

Well, apparently, this was my perfect storm. In 2008, I was running a successful real estate focused law firm. The effects rippled like a massive wave with global reach.  My practice was not immune; the mortgage crisis knocked on my door and my law practice crumbled. I soon discovered that what I had grown accustomed to; the security of a “stable” job, the financial freedom, and the fulfillment of what I had been trained to do as an attorney was now over.  

In retrospect, it was a blessing, but dang, those were some hard days. I was in a season of my life where I had just remarried and was pregnant. I knew I needed to rethink my priorities and dedicate more time to my family.  So, I took advantage of the time to really think about my next move.

What I found is that not only was I in a career shift, but I was a season full of changes, one after the other. I moved 2,000 miles away, to a new country, with the love of my life and my little girl Danni, hoping to pursue the American Dream.

I tried some freelancing gigs reviewing contracts, got hired by a property management company, but when my baby was born, family duties called me. By a Godcidence, the company I was working for, eliminated my position while I was on “maternity leave.” Again, a hard blow, but a blessing in disguise. They gave me a package that I could not refuse. That was my wildcard to find the infamous `life’s purpose.’

I don’t think I found the purpose of life; however, I did find a new life goal. I realized that I desired freedom. I was introduced to the online marketing world and I was sold. 

Who doesn’t want to sign up to a business that offers:

  1. The opportunity to work anywhere in the world.
  2. Unlimited revenue opportunities. Yes, unlimited.
  3. No ceiling to your growth potential.
  4. And… on top of that, receiving world class health and wellness support 

The only thing you need to do is just “share your weight loss story.”

That’s it, really?  Sounds too good to be true. But it’s too good to skip as well.

So, I decided to put my heart into my new online business and conquer the opportunity that had no ceiling. Little did I know that this business opportunity also came without a solid foundation and could collapse at any time, much like my law practice.   

At that time, one of the factors that inspired me to jump into the online business opportunity (I called digital franchise) was the freedom and flexibility to work around my kids’ schedule.

And I got it! I got to taste and experience what it was like to live the dream! Tom quit his job and we decided that Austin, Texas was gonna be our new place!

Moving To Paradise- Austin, Texas! 

Our family kept growing. By 2013 we were a family of five and well on our way to being a family of six. I was pregnant with Priscilla (my 4th baby). We knew we wanted to move from Connecticut, mainly due to the prohibitive cost of living and the bitter cold winters. Also, the depreciating value of our home had gone from $360,000 to $190,000, along with the investment we put in that property.  We made the decision to just run away!

I thought Austin was going to be an amazing opportunity to keep expanding my online business. At that point, we had just gotten a new distribution agreement with a new company who told us that I could be part of their international presence in the European market. It was very promising, so I accepted.

We had chosen to focus on my business, I went back to school and learned digital marketing, branding, and attraction marketing, and my business exploded! Tom quit his job in NYC and we moved to Austin so we could both enjoy the benefits of a luxury home, traveling, and raising the kids. What a perfect family movie scene- wait until it turns into a horror movie

By the way, check out my “free BMW” that I won! On top of big checks and plenty of luxury trips. 

Fast Forwarding to 2015: The End Of The Dream 

By the end of 2014 my income had started to drop, significantly. It was my first time doing that kind of business, so I listened to my mentors who told me that it was normal and all I needed was to find new people. A year later, I couldn’t listen anymore. My check had gone down to just under $1,000. I fought until the end… 

Looking back, I chose a business model that could collapse at any time, and it did, in 2015.⁠

My friend, we hit rock bottom and it hurt badly. Coming from a lifestyle of making, sometimes $70,000 per month, to barely seeing $1,000, rocks the most solid boat. I tried so hard. My leaders told me I needed more personal development. And I drank the kool-aid. 

I refused to quit. I drained our savings, which I’m not proud of. But I was desperate to rescue my business. Until I said ENOUGH and realized the company was in fact a pyramid scheme. It was collapsing. ⁠

My ego collapsed too. My “free BMW” got repossessed, we took the kids out of private preschool, exited our luxury property lease, and adjusted every single lifestyle choice that we had made. For those of you that have been there, you know that it is a true rock bottom.  It is a deep hole that you are unsure if you will ever climb out of. Your self-confidence gets smashed and you feel worthless. I learned the hard way that when you build a life where success is based on your title, recognition, status, material things and outward appearances, you allow those things to define you.  When those status symbols are ripped from you, you suddenly find yourself searching for evidence of value. As I looked around, I saw nothing. In my quest to capture the American Dream, I lost myself.  

Starting a New Business With Less Than $25 

On the bright side, this wasn’t my first rodeo. Remember when I had lost it all back in 2008? The main difference was that, this time, we were now a family of six.

I knew how to get back up. 

I decided to go out and meet some people, but committed to not talk about my business at all. I put together my resume, and during that same week I applied for jobs.  A woman from the networking events I had attended called me. She said, “your business card has fallen out of my purse 3 times this week and I believe this means I need to call you.”

She said: “are you ok?”

Me: “sure.”

She: “really?”

Me: “Actually, no. I am not ok.”

Meshell Baker was the first person I talked about my horror story. I had been holding all of the stress, fear, tension, and uncertainty until that call. This was around January 2016. She offered me a volunteer position as a social media manager, and I said yes. 

Sometimes, when opportunities come, all you need is to say yes and figure it out later. 

I saw hope. I came back from that meeting, inspired to call myself a social media coach. Check out the amazing logo I made from an app for less than $5. ⁣⁣Bought the domain and put the website together myself.

I took massive action and invited my network to my very first Academy. About 35 people signed up that month. They didn’t know this, but that revenue prevented us from being homeless that month. It was a God thing. ⁣⁣

By then …⁣⁣⁣

🌟99% of my clients spoke Spanish. I was too terrified to speak English. I convinced myself that I wasn’t qualified, even with a law degree, over 10 years of experience and a successful track record. ⁣⁣⁣ Now, my audience is either 100% in English or bilingual. I lead one of the most amazing networking groups in Austin! And guess what? They love my accent!

🌟 I was so afraid to charge for my services. My self-worth was tanked and I didn’t believe people would buy from me, so I discounted my services.  Now, my prices are 10 times of what I used to charge (and my clients today tell me I need to charge more). ⁣⁣⁣

🌟 The idea of speaking in public was so scary. I was too embarrassed to say “beach” “sheet” or “focus”. I speak English with a Spanish accent and saw that as a horrible limitation. ⁣⁣⁣

🌟Gurus told me to market only to my Spanish audience. 

Despite the rough start, my little business made over 6 figures that year. Totally a God thing, mixed with a lot of hard work.

Why You Should Build A Brand, Not A Business?

According to many sources, more than 90% (Ninety percent) of all Internet business start-ups end in failure within the first 120 (one hundred twenty) days. And that number is all too accurate: NINETY PERCENT!⁠

When I look back and see what elements have helped my business succeed, it’s one thing: I am building a brand.

My little Internet Business, started with $25, after facing devastating losses from working in one of the riskiest business models (Multi Level Marketing) is turning 4 years old today. ⁠

That little business has impulsed over $50M in sales over the last 4 years, despite the MANY mistakes I’ve made as a CEO, afraid to speak in English, and the plenty of cash crunches we’ve faced. ⁠

I’m a living testimonial of what a powerful brand, impulsed by social media marketing can do for a mompreneur who is willing to fight hard, to provide food and shelter for her family.

There is a big difference between creating an organization that sells a product or service (that’s the definition of a business) and creating a brand that lasts for years to come and infuses the world with value.

If all you’re doing is building a business so you can make more money and free yourself of corporate chains, it’s not going to last long. As soon as your service or product becomes irrelevant, priced out, or overtaken by competition, all of those hours of time, sweat, and tears spent over building your time/money/freedom machine are gone.

To have a lasting impact, your business needs to be bigger than you and what you’re selling. It needs to have a long-term vision, defined values, and a story that moves your audience to action, not to mention a kick-ass product or service that transforms people’s lives.

What Do You Need To Build A Brand?

Unlike what many people think, brand is not about your business name, colors, website, and logo. Your brand is your message.

Your message should be able to build a relationship with your users. 

One thing that I attribute to my years in the direct sales industry is that I learned how to make friends and win people. I learned how to recruit. How to persuade. I was a recruiting machine!  

To this day, I carry over the good things from the industry, such as:

  1. Embracing the power of building a community with customers 
  2. Leading with positivity
  3. Promoting parties and fun activities! 
  4. Marketing a culture and a value system, more than anything else

The more I focus on helping others, and detach myself from the financial outcome, the less I have to think about marketing myself.  That’s part of the ripple effect of brand building.

Maybe I’m not a CEO with 45 employees and leading a Fortune 500 company, but I wouldn’t trade the freedom that my little business gives me, especially when I see up to 80% in profit margins! And most importantly, I would not trade my days at my home office, dancing reggaeton, podcasting, and creating amazing content. 

What’s Next for Marketing For Greatness?

Whatever is next for me, personally! I take my business with me. We are in constant evolution! 

I’m experiencing many joyful moments at the moment! Just this month alone, I was in Austin Woman Magazine in their Woman To Watch segment!  You can check out the segment here. 

It feels like all the pieces are coming together. I’m even writing a book about my personal journey! Born To Be YOUnicorn. 

See a sample of the kind of conversations I have with amazing individuals! 

On the more business conversations, I’ve evolved my brand to claim the niche of forensic marketing. I’m passionate about education so I educate for Fortune 500 companies. Holding the title of author and educator for Social Media Examiner is one of my biggest proud moments. If you’re curious about my lessons, you can see my author page here.  This is something that 4 years ago I would NEVER even think of as a possibility.  

I have a strong desire to keep speaking for organizations who want a marketing strategist and educator. I don’t know where my marketing strategies and teachings will take me. But I promise you something: my heart is with the entrepreneurs who have a transformational message to share. That’s my calling. It’s what I call activating greatness.

Want to know how to partner with me? Check out my Business Accelerator Program! I’m thrilled with our Inner Circle and their results! 

Stay tuned for more news! I’m very active on IG! 

And … one more thing! If you want to boost your social media marketing, watch my latest rich Masterclass, Social Media Marketing in 2020. A full hour explaining the evolution of social media marketing, and how business owners need a robust plan that considers best UX practices, search engines and content marketing!

Register Here to watch the Masterclass on demand.

BONUS for webinar attendees: 

  1. PDF with content marketing strategies covered so you can plan your content for the next 90 days
  2. Blueprint To Plan Your Winning Campaign ®
  3. Special bonus for my Business Accelerator Program (get over $1,000 in value)